SNA reports that the organization today announced that in an “unexpected” move, Saudi Arabia has stopped issuing visas for pilgrims from a number of Islamic countries including the Islamic Republic.
In the past 10 days, no visas have been issued to Iranian pilgrims, and Iranian authorities have also stopped sending any further applications.
Pilgrims with visas that were already issued will continue to be sent on their journey, while some pilgrims may experience delays, the organization added.
Iran-Saudi relations have been tense in the past year. Iran did not send a representative to attend the funeral of the Saudi crown prince, as relations had been strained by Saudi Arabia’s execution of a number of Iranian nationals for drug charges. Iran claims they did not receive a fair trial or adequate access to legal representation and consular services.
On the other hand, Khabar-on-line reports that the halting of visas is due to the fact that Iran has reached its pilgrim quota for this year.